Volvo CEO Says Potential U.S.-Europe Trade War Is “Worrying”

Volvo chief executive Hakan Samuelsson has expressed his concerns about the possibility of a trade war between the United States and the European Union.

Speaking during the recent Automotive News Europe Congress, Samuelsson said that it is increasing the number of vehicles it builds in the United States and hopes that it will be spared from potential new taxes.

“The [Trump] administration wants us to build cars in U.S. and reduce the [U.S.] trade deficit. By coincidence, we are doing exactly that,” he said. “We will eventually build 150,000 cars in the U.S., of which half will be exported. And we will sell about the same number there. I hope the administration sees that and taxes somebody else.”

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Volvo announced plans to build a factory in the United States in 2015, well before President Donald Trump was elected and threatened imported vehicles with steep tariffs.

Not only is Volvo looking to minimize the impacts of trade tensions between the U.S. and the European Union, but it is also doing the same with the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China.

Auto News reports that Volvo no longer imports Chinese-made vehicles in the States, as they faced a 27.5 per cent tariff. Now, models like the XC60 are being imported to the U.S. from Europe instead.

Last year, the Swedish automaker started preparing for an initial public offering; however, the IPO, which could have seen it valued at around $30 billion, was scrapped in September 2018 due to trade tensions.

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